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They Were Our Fathers

The stories of these Gold Star sons and daughters as they honor their dads on Father’s Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.


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They Were Our Fathers is a documentary filmed in Washington D.C. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as hundreds of boys and girls, now men and women, honored their dads on Father's Day with a special ceremony and remembrances left at The Wall. 

Members of Sons and Daughters in Touch—a group formed in 1990 to locate, unite and support America’s Gold Star children who lost their fathers in the Vietnam War—gather in the nation’s capital on Father's Day to honor their fathers, reflect on their common grief and support one another, like no one else can. 

Under the direction of executive producer Jill Hubbs, James Roy and Ted King from the WSRE production team, traveled to Washington, D.C. to film the events at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Father’s Day and interview these sons and daughters. Their poignant stories have been documented in They Were Our Fathers. 

The film is narrated in first person by Hubbs, whose father became missing in action during his second tour of duty in Vietnam on March 17, 1968. U.S. Navy Cdr. Donald Richard Hubbs was commanding officer of the world famous VS-23 Black Cats and was stationed aboard the USS Yorktown in the Gulf of Tonkin when his S-2E Tracker reconnaissance aircraft disappeared off the North Vietnam coast. 

An Army reserve specialist was mortally wounded when an enemy rocket hit his base camp, located east of Saigon; He was the father of a three month old daughter, born during his service in Vietnam, a beautiful baby whom he never got to meet. An Air Force captain piloting a A-7 on a reconnaissance mission disappeared beneath a cloud cover near the Laotian border and became missing in action. 

Decades later, his daughter would travel to Southeast Asia on a quest to find the location of his crash site and discovered the wreckage of his aircraft, resulting in the repatriation of her father’s remains. A 19 year old Marine private first class was killed defending an American base just outside of Khe Sanh. His son grew up searching for answers about his father which led him to locate his father’s Marine buddies, whose stories and memories made his father come alive. A Navy pilot serving aboard the USS Kearsarge launched his aircraft from the aircraft carrier’s deck, crashing into the South China Sea, killing him and two others. His daughter grew up and instilled a strong sense of patriotism into her son, who joined the military to honor the grandfather he never knew. When he was killed in Afghanistan, his grieving mother was not only a Gold Star Daughter, she was now a Gold Star Mother. 

Each of these Gold Star sons and daughters has a unique story to tell. They are bonded together in tragedy but also joined together in patriotism, honor and respect for the fathers they loved and lost. Join these sons and daughters as they gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Father’s Day to honor their dads and share their memories. Their stories serve as powerful testimonies about the true cost of war.